tv KQED Newsroom PBS January 4, 2014 2:00am-2:31am PST
welcome to kqed "newsroom," i'm thuy vu. tonight we will reflect on the past year and look at what may lie forward in 2014. joining me is carla maranucci, paul rodgers environment writer and managing editor for kqed science, and joshua johnson, kqed morning newscaster. first a quick review of some highlights of 2013. 2013, the year of the california comeback and governor jerry brown rising. he visited china in april to establish a trade relationship and ended the year with a big budget surplus for the state. a stalemate in congress led to the sequester and a federal government shutdown for more than two weeks. shuttering attractions and furloughing workers. it was a bumpy launch for the affordable care act while the covered california rollout went more smoothly. the push for comprehensive immigration reform stalled.
president obama's approval ratings took a big hit even in solidly blue california. same-sex marriage advocates celebrated rulings by the u.s. supreme court. edward snowden leaked about surveillance and raised eyebrows. >> privacy lets us determine who we are and who we want to be. >> and questions about the role of silicon valley companies. social media darling twitter had its ipo. the latest tech boom in the bay area fueled job gains and higher housing prices. there was the long-awaited opening of the new eastern span of the bay bridge, after months of threatened delays due to faulty bolts. two b.a.r.t. strikes drove the bay area commute into chaos. it was a year plagued by gun violence in our communities and efforts to stem it. the airline crash at sfo left three people dead and almost 200
injured. more than 400 square mile near yosemite national park were scorched by the rim fire which raged for nearly ten weeks. >> the comeback of 2014 is complete. >> there was the surprise victory by team oracle in the much heralded america's cup race. candlestick park concluded its 53-year legacy and 2013 ended as one of the driest years on record in california. so there you go. quite a year in california. a comeback year, as we said at the top for california's economy. carla, also for governor jerry brown. >> at 75, these are supposed to be the golden years. how does he become the golden boy of american politics? they're talking about the guy running for president again. >> really? oh, my. >> he's not going to do that when you're presiding over a state that was awash in red ink, billions of dollars, now you're looking at $2 billion surplus
next year, unemployment is down. months and months of consistent economic growth. jerry brown has a lot to be happy about. his fight is not over, however, as we know. am i right? you got the democrats and republicans out there looking at that surplus. >> what are you going to do with it? spend it or save it. >> i think it's interesting to look at however we have come. only three years ago when brown took office we had a $26 billion deficit, the largest deficit in the history of california. people were comparing california to greece. it was being put on again as it is every 15 or so years. national magazine covers as the failed golden state. we went from minus 26 to plus two. the surplus is expected to go to plus 5 billion. brown was able to do this through luck and skill. first through luck. the economy got better on his watch. capital gains taxes went way up. the state got more money. he also was able to successfully push through a tax increase, raise taxes on rich people,
raise the sales tax. is that brought more money in. he kept liberal democrats in sacramento in check and didn't let them spend the way they wanted. also the republicans have been so completely muted as a party, they have no way to block anything. brown is riding a nice wave right now and he's 40 points ahead in the polls for november. >> he's often referred to as the only adult in it the room. if you think back to the 1970s, he was referred to as the moon beam governor because of his new-age ideas. now he's celebrated in all the publications. >> it shows his style in sacrament to he hasn't been predictable on issues. gun instance, he's gone down the center. he has done the paddle to the right, paddle to the left and successfully. he's got the help of a democratic legislature, the super majority. that's helping him as well. as you said, the republicans are nowhere to be seen.
the fact is some republicans are out there already, ready to run against him. able maldonado, the former lieutenant governor, neil cashtari and a very conservative tim donnelly? will any of these guys take a whack at jerry brown's strength? it doesn't look like it, but at this point it's interesting to watch brown in his final year. when he will make an announcement? that's interesting, too. we don't know. he hasn't announced if he is going to run. >> what also remains to be seen is how much of what governor brown has done people will understand and comprehend. there was a survey recently about the new funding formula for public education, how little the public understood about how the formula has changed what the new formula is what does this mean for my schools. no question. there's been a lot of progress from minus 26 to plus 2. when the rubber hits the road and it's time for people to say,
yes, i will re-elect governor brown because -- or no, i will vote for his opponent because, i'm not sure how much people get it on a voter level. >> there's no chance he gets re-election. the only thing that will stop him is health issues. california is one of the bluest states in the country. la teens no don't vo latinos don't vote republican, asians don't vote republican. right now the republican voter registration in california is 30%. democrats are 45%. they start with a 15-point head start. there's no way to lose as a democrat unless you royally screw it up and bring over a bunch of people to the other side. >> there are some issues, high-speed rail, some big infrastructure issues -- >> that's not enough to tank him.
many of his big projects are in big trouble. the high speed rail thing is in trouble. the water plan, the best thing he can hope for is a drought next year. environmentalists hate it. prisons are a mess. it's not like he has an easy year next year, he has a tough time. but there's no issue there when we say we made california run again. we went from schwarzenegger who was all flash and couldn't work the levors of government to a guy who is no flash but probably knows more about the leavers of government than the 35 other million people in the state. >> things are sunnier for governor brown. not so sunny for president obama. he is facing fallout from the nsa scandal, from the affordable care act. >> absolutely. his numbers are at historic lows. the affordable care rollout was
better in california than elsewhere in the country. he's taking question after question about how has he -- how did it come to this? immigration reform is another area where he was in san francisco and got heckled in his last trip here this is a tough year for obama even in california where he lost double digit support among his base, women, african-americans, young voters. that's not a good sign for the democratic party going into 2014. >> i was intrigued by the fact that this years forred silicon valley to become a political factor. granted, silicon valley was beginning to donate to both sides in the midterms, now with this whole nsa spy scandal, every-day americans are being asked what is silicon valley going this information? is the nsa involved? i know they're asking to release
the data. what's happening with my data? i wonder if going forward, silicon valley has to be a political player? >> at least this year, absolutely. just recently all those tech leaders sat down with president obama in the white house. most of them from silicon valley. they wanted to talk about the nsa. facebook has taken a roll with his forward.us -- >> yeah. >> the white house doesn't want the nsa vacuuming up information without -- it's hurting their reputations and their bznesusin. the same thing happened to obama with the failed rollout of the website, nationally. though it is working now because silicon valley people went and fixed it. it's the same as hurricane katrina with bush. bush's numbers were high. even people who didn't like him had to acknowledge he was likable as a person.
what happened with katrina was the ability to look competent was cratered. that one photograph of him looking out the plane window as an american city went underwater, he never recovered from that. is this website going to recover and the program going to recover in a way that obama can never recover? or is he going to lose the senate in november? the house republicans going maintain a majority? he will be able to do almost nothing certainly through laws, you know, for the rest of his presidency. >> at least president obama did not say sebelius you're doing heck of a job. you have to help us fix not only healthcare.gov but the whole government system for procurement for i.t. is messed up. >> with silicon valley's role in health care, absolutely important. but there's another aspect of silicon valley that promotes problems for obama, that is this increase divide in income.
the haves and have-nots. we're seeing it in san francisco where google buses are being protested on a regular basis, where people are starting to look at number of evictions of poor, low-income people so that the tech folks can move in. this issue is creating a backlash, i think. >> it really is. >> we saw with 8 washington that project got voted down by voters. the embarcadero development on the waterfront. warriors arena, there's controversy about that. there's this culture clash going on where people are saying, yeah, the tech sector came in and created jobs, but we don't see tech workers contributing to our communities. we don't see them volunteering in schools, in our local organizations. >> perfect example was the story about the angel hack ceo who went on facebook and dissed them saying there was not one iota of
value. it showed what you said. >> the question is, though, there's no question that they're making some people in san francisco mad. this year the economy is improving. the stock market is at all-time highs. it's up 25%. housing prices are back up. for people who have assets, people who have 401(k)s, who own homes, they're doing well. the best they've done in ten years. for the people who don't, they're falling further and further behind. the people in the latter group who are mad at tech folks for their stock market millions, what can they do? are they going to get the board of supervisors to say we're not going give tax breaks for these companies to come here? are they going to pass a ballot measure in san francisco? i don't see a pathway. how they turn that anger into a concrete way to get back or change anything. >> politically i don't think
there is a political pathway now. let's remember, there are a number of tech development projects that are on the way. not the least of witch is apple's ispaceship in cupertino. samsung is planning on building here. google is work on this massive campus -- probably in mountain view. >> the going m barogle barge. >> the attacks on the shuttle buss that attack google employees, that's one of the few places where people can lay their hands on the giant company and say you are hurting me. unless there's some way for t m people to take that out of the streets and put some political power behind that, i think that will get ugly in the next year. the fact that people are so disenfranchised. you know the golden gate theater on market street? they're building behind the golden gate theater, that
building is now a co-working center for start-ups. silicon valley is gentrifying the tenderloin from the inside out. >> it's a huge ongoing issue. i do want to make sure we talk about b.a.r.t. as well. here it was such a big local issue. not one but two strikes. stranding thousands and thousands of commuters. >> absolutely. this brought to the forecontinue labor. you saw the polls -- public polls and support for labor has dropped precipitously in the wake of that strike. labor has to make that up. it's a big lift to pass a -- any kind of legislation that bans transit strikes in the labor-friendly bay area. boy, that one hit people where they lived now you're seeing the b.a.r.t. director saying this is happening every four years. we have to do something to stop it. >> b.a.r.t.'s new president of the board, he wants to have an
advisory measure on the ballot next year bans transit strikes. but it would be purely advisory. >> he is very much under attack by labor. the question is will you see democratic legislators have the guts come forward -- >> no. >> paul says no. i agree. >> that's where they get all their money. the public will be mad with them, but there's not much for the public to do to change the situation. you could put a statewide ballot measure in, labor would put up a hundred million to contract it. >> i think the b.a.r.t. deaths in october, it happened when the manager was conducting one of thetrains in the prolonged strike. the riders that ride b.a.r.t. every day, if you put it to a
vote every day there would be some support for saying you are an essential employee, like police, fire. >> on a lighter note, the bay bridge, it opened on time. despite the trouble and fault. >> kind of on time. >> sort of. >> this was a great year for public works projects across the bay area. we opened the devil slide tunnel. we opened the fourth bore of the caldecott. we opened the new bay bridge. in the middle of a $4 billion upgrade. >> that was our discussion part. there's a fine tradition here where the panelists have to give their predictions for 2014. joshua, you're first up. >> haves and have-nots. the economic gap, as carla said, between the moneyed silicon valley types and everybody else is going to crack open in 2014. the attacks on the google shuttle buses for employees
recently is just proof that there's all this simmering anger. i think some people are still looking at the america's cup and wondering if that is more proof that san francisco is just becoming a playground for billionaires, where people can't afford to be here and they will be squished out to the manufacture gins. the political question of what we do is still thorny. >> paul. >> jerry brown wins re-election by 21 points, the largest margin since 1986 when tom bradley was beaten by 236789. >> you are a bold man with points and everything. >> carla? >> the oakland mayor, her approval ratings are in the tank. she hat power of incumbency and rank choice voting. i think she wins re-election, but people talk about the next
possible, ann gutch. >> that would be a very interesting election. >> for me, boy, you are heavy-duty people. i'm a cal grad. i predict next year the big game, cal will not lose by a 50-point margin ever again. >> hope springs eternal. >> i'm an optimist for 2014. >> do you have a stanford rose bowl prediction. >> that's for you. you're a man of points. you guys, thank you very much. >> thank you. we do have other stories of the year. and silicon valley diva is a group that calls itself a media community organizing entrepreneurial collective it brings together advocates, organizers and journalists who coffer issues like criminal justice, housing and immigration reform. next, scott shafer heres from the founder for an alternative
perspective on stories from the year, but first a sample of their work about the growing number of homeless in san jose. >> being out here humbled so many people. i grew up upper middle class. my dad is a pastor. i graduated with a 4.0. they don't want us to be here, but where do we go when we have nowhere to go? we are society's rejects, they're already looking down on us. that's pressure. then being homeless and trying to survive. not live but survive. >> raj, welcome. >> thank you. >> how is that clip an example of what you guys do? >> emblematic of not only what we do but where san jose and silicon valley is, our type of
media, which is really relati relationship based. in some ways we have embedded reporters. we're able to access areas that traditional media can't it allows us to get these stories, intimate stories of what it means to be homeless in one of the richest cities in america. >> what is the goal? are you trying to change peoples minds? are you trying to influence policymakers? >> our goal is a humble and audacious goal at the same time. we want a participatory and inclusive silicon valley. we need more people to the table to discuss what our future should be. what do you want it to be? >> i think we're at a time of reckoning for silicon valley. this is a stark moment of having and have-nots. not only for the current static time but for the future of the next generation. we think 2014 will be a day where -- a year that the stories are going to be set in terms of
whether we'll get out of a current economic model, which is leaving a lot of people behind. >> as folks were talking about in the last panel, in san francisco we have the tension building between tech workers and others feeling like they're priced out of san francisco and the bay area. folks are coming in who are not necessarily invested in their community. how do you see that struggle in san francisco and how is it different from what is playing out in san jose. >> fractured disconnected community is a dangerous one. it's a problematic one and one that has to be addressed head on or it will not change are in san jose, where we're seeing in the daily paper that there's an accumulation of wealth by some, while some people can't get jobs, some people are being evi evicted, some people have no sense there's a possibility of tomorrow t causes tension.
it's a political issue as well as a moral one. >> are you trying to get different policies enacted? what can elected officials do that would change that? >> i think there's two steps. one is community that is impacted by these issues need to generate the political force to get the elected officials to generate the political will to challenge these questions. for us, in a practical way, we think there's a level of corporate responsibility in the tech sector to be stakeholders. if you are going to live her, work here, take money out, that comes from responsibility and duty and a public infrastructure that allows schools to continue, police to be paid, that our public infrastructure set. >> many things intersecting in san jose. you have immigration, for example. a lot of immigrants living in the south bay. you have on the one hand the
h1bv holders who work at high paying jobs. then you have immigrants who come in to work the service sector jobs. how do you see those two groups of immigrants converging? what is the grouping? >> there's a commonalty and experience that these two groups don't acknowledge. they came from a difficult place and they came to the silicon valley because of the promise of opportuni opportunity. whether your a tech worker or cleaning the companies at night, there's still that same possibility of tomorrow that you're doing for yourself and your kids. being able to share the stories of both sides is where they can see a reflection of each other. if there's a way out, it's through that common set of experiences. >> one area you grabbed on to is public justice, you have gone to bat for people accused of crimes, families of people
incarcerated. talk about that and what you see your role as being there. >> this is the 50th year of guidon versus wanwright. we have not seen that enacted. the resource that has not been tapped, those facing charges and their families and love ones. public defender offices are strapped. case loads are out of hand. they don't have enough resources. families can be exptensions of legal defense teams, to allow the right of council to be realized, not just something that is aspirational. >> critics say you do great work, but you don't differentiate between gang members and people who have gotten caught up in a first time nonviolent drug offense. what do you say to that. >> we're espousing a very basic mesh principle, everyone has the right to defense and everyone has the right to council,
despite what's in your bank account. that is not highly politicized. it's fundamental to the judicial system. we're just trying to make sure the system is operating. >> those who say you're naive in that you don't -- maybe you see those two kinds of crimes, say, a very violent crime versus one that's nonviolent, how do you decide which causes to champion? >> we cause the people -- we champion the people, not the causes. what we say is if you have a charge, you're a community member. you're not just a police file or what you are charged with. if we can tell the fuller story and tell who it is you are beholden to, who the relatives are. we are not making a judgment on innocence or guilt. >> looking ahead to 2014, is
there an item emerging? >> immigration, not just on the local level but nationally. immigration is not something that obama has to decide on but our local legislators need to make a stand on. >> raj, appreciate you coming in. >> appreciate it, scott. >> that's all for tonight, thanks for our guests, paul rodgers, carla, and joshya johnson. happy holidays to you all. there's more coverage of 2013 and the latest news at kqedn kqednewses.org. i'm thuy vu, we wish you a v joyful holiday season and good night.
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